Pierre Bonnard

Pierre Bonnard Nude Against the Light oil on canvas 1908

Pierre Bonnard The Bath oil on canvas 1925

Laird Markow has suggested that we look at the nudes of Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947). He has this to say about the above paintings:

"I know that some of Bonnard's paintings have been endlessly reproduced, but I believe rightfully so. Whenever I think of Bonnard's work I first recall the scenes in the bath. One reason why Bonnard returned so often to this theme is because his wife, Marthe, is believed to have had a skin condition that required her to soak in the tub for long periods of time. 

There is an interesting contrast between "The Bath" and "Nude Against the Light". In the former the model seems calm and at peace, floating almost weightlessly. In the latter she has emerged from her confinement to revel in a sensuous world of light and color."  

Pierre Bonnard Out of the Bath 1926

Roger Brown has also sent in a Bonnard painting, the above "Out of the Bath", along with an amusing comment:

"Having used showers for decades, the mere thought of bathtubs makes me queasy."

I'll jump in with a favorite Bonnard of mine. I absolutely love the way you only see Marthe's legs:

Pierre Bonnard Nude in the Bath oil on canvas 1925

It seemed to me that it was possible to translate light, forms, and character 
using nothing but color, without recourse to values.
-Pierre Bonnard

This ends the month of looking at figures in and around bathrooms or bodies of water. Please vote for your TWO favorite paintings at the top of the sidebar.


  1. Taryn, I so very much enjoy The Art Room. It is always a delightful surprise when I receive it in my email. It is very well written and has become one of my favorite "guilty pleasures" at the computer.
    Much appreciation,
    Sharon Rose Smith

  2. I loved this months theme and new discoveries. I'm looking forward to December's topic already!


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